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Brainstorms

The Ups and Downs of Novel Antiemetic Drugs, Part 1: Substance P, 5-HT, and the Neuropharmacology of Vomiting

Stephen M. Stahl, MD, PhD

Published: May 15, 2003

Article Abstract
Neuropharmacology of the peptide neurotransmitter substance P is just now being unraveled. An interesting and somewhat surprising therapeutic application, namely prevention of cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), has recently been approved for aprepitant (Emend), an agent that blocks the receptors for substance P, known as neurokinin-1, or NK1, receptors. Someday, NK1 antagonists may also become novel psychotherapeutic agents for depression and other stress-related conditions. For now, an understanding of these agents may be enhanced by a review of the neuropharmacology of emesis, including how substance P helps to regulate this reflex within the central nervous system (CNS) via NK1 receptors in the brainstem vomiting center.

Some JCP and PCC articles are available in PDF format only. Please click the PDF link at the top of this page to access the full text.

Volume: 64

Quick Links: Addiction , Substance Use Disorders

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